Health + Wellness: Cannonau Wine and the Blue Zones

23 Apr

The other day I was looking for something to read while I sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine so I grabbed The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. One of my favorite subjects to read about is health and wellness (and I love numbered lists with actionable steps) so I was intrigued by this study of four of the world’s “Blue Zones,” communities where common elements like diet and lifestyle have helped citizens live well into their 90s and beyond.

One of these blue zones is the island of Sardenia (Sardegna) Italy, off the western coast of Tuscany. As with most of Italy,wine is a daily part of life and is consumed with most meals. Dr Oz attributes this wine lifestyle and the local red wine Cannonau as a significant contributor to the extended life span found on the island. He suggest that the low numbers of heart disease and cancer are a result of the healthy effects of this wine.

Cannonau is grown all over the island and it makes a hearty, full bodied wine. Though the rest of the world calls the grape Grenache,Cannonau is much fuller and concentrated than other wines produced from genetically identical grapes thanks to the harsh Sardinian sun which causes the grapes to develop more red pigment to protect from the ultraviolet rays. This results in grapes with 2-3 times the level of artery-scrubbing flavinoids than other wines.

It is a food wine that excels with thick red sauces, meats and pasta. It also pairs perfectly with the local goats milk cheese, Percorino Sardo. Two of my favorite producers are Sella Mosca Cannonau ($16) and Argiolas Costera ($20). Select Liquors in Allston, MA is the closest shop I have found that carries the latter if you’re in the Boston area and want to give it a try. While poking around on the web I also discovered the blue zones website which is a fantastic resource portal of additional information like recipes and checklists.

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